June 10, 2005
European Jews for a Just Peace, being a part of the international solidarity movement supporting the human and political rights of Israelis and Palestinians alike, calls upon Israeli academics to boycott the continuing presence of the Israeli army on Palestinian territory.
We know that many members of the Israeli academic community and indeed many other sections of Israeli society understand that such a presence is the core of the problem.
Under these circumstances, it is no longer sufficient to oppose the occupation quietly. Now, it is necessary to campaign against it as loudly as possible.
Drawing on past experiences of peace and human rights movements in Europe, we think that it is first necessary to expose, and then to break, all academic ties with the occupation – with its apparatus and support efforts, including military research – and with settlements and settlers.
We ask Israeli teachers’ and lecturers’ unions to pass resolutions that make their opposition to the occupation clear and commit them to campaigning against it in their professional areas.
Academic freedom is indivisible. Yet for Palestinians the right of access to education at any level, let alone to freedom of speech at the highest level, is denied by Israeli authorities.
The barriers erected by the successive Israeli governments preventing access to education for Palestinians must be condemned and lifted.
Israeli academics and teachers are among those best placed to pressure their government in order this to happen as soon as possible; Academic freedom – as well as general and specialized education – represents an inalienable human right that must be explicitly acknowledged, vigorously defended and determinedly promoted by the Israeli academic community for and with the Palestinian academic community.
European Jews for a Just Peace
We are distributing this statement to European academic and teaching unions. We urge those who wish to support the end of occupation by their Israeli colleagues as stated in our statement to either:
1. Sign the statement as it stands
2. Use the statement as a basis for a resolution from your own trade union. For example, you could add a line calling on Israeli academics opposed to the occupation to refuse to do reserve duty beyond the 1967 cease fire lines – i.e., in the Occupied Territories.
In either case, please send the statement with your signature, or the resolution from your union for forwarding to Israeli unions, Knesset members and peace campaigners in Israel and Palestine to the EJJP mailing list address: firstname.lastname@example.org. You could also send a copy to the person who sent you this email.
We will publish the first batch of signatures in four weeks. The next batch will be sent four weeks after the start of the 2005-2006 academic year, this autumn.
Non-European teachers and academics who are in favour of this call are also welcome to express their support by signing this call, or using as the basis for a resolution of their own organisation or union.